Store Extra Energy In Liquid Air

The UK's Institution of Mechanical Engineers has announced that liquid air can be used to store excess energy generated from renewable sources. For example, wind farms generate power at night, but since demand is low at that time, the energy may be wasted.

When demand increases the next day, the liquid air can be warmed to drive a turbine, thereby giving the energy back. Engineers say the process can achieve an efficiency of up to 70%.

The process follows a number of stages:
  1. "Wrong-time electricity" is used to take in air, remove the CO2 and water vapour (these would freeze otherwise)
  2. the remaining air, mostly nitrogen, is chilled to -190C (-310F) and turns to liquid (changing the state of the air from gas to liquid is what stores the energy)
  3. the liquid air is held in a giant vacuum flask until it is needed
  4. when demand for power rises, the liquid is warmed to ambient temperature. As it vaporizes, it drives a turbine to produce electricity - no combustion is involved.
Highview believes that, produced at scale, their kits could be up to 70% efficient, and IMechE agrees this figure is realistic.

This work derives from the work of Britainís Peter Dearman, who invented a liquid air engine to power vehicles as seen in the following video.

Science fiction fans of yesteryear would not find this idea hard to believe. The idea of storing energy in liquid air and then using it to power engines was used in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.


(Buck Rogers in the 25th Century)

Via BBC. Thanks to Winchell Chung of Project Rho for the tip and the reference on this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/2/2012)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Engineering ")

Colloidal Quantum Dots Make Spray-On Solar Cells Possible
'Black Power... you spray it on.'- Larry Niven, 1995

Race Into The Future With Bionic Boots
'The tremendous loping strides afforded by such devices... '- Neal Stephenson, 1995.

Lightpaper Way Thinner Than OLED
'You have this on Siwenna?'- Isaac Asimov, 1952.

DARPA Wants Airborne Launch Facility For Drones
This was tried with recon craft in WWII.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Smart Window Tints, Powers Itself
'The polawindow, which he tuned to clear transmission.'

A Basic Income TED Talk
'They de-emphasized what lack of work would do to Mr. Everyman'

What Can Magic Leap Expect From New 'Chief Futurist' Neal Stephenson?
'The goggles throw a light, smoky haze across his eyes...'

Should SETI Talk To Molecular Cloud Barnard 68?
'I myself am building basic chemicals at about 10,000,000,000 times the rate at which building is occurring on the whole ... surface of your planet.'

LikeAGlove Smart Garment Knows Your Size
'The tailor set moving a mechanism...'

EXACTO Bullets Change Course In Mid-Air
'This little weapon ejects a rather ingenious missile...'

Button-Pushing Robots Have Taken Our Jobs, Thankfully
'The ten forked ends of each arm commenced a rattling pressing of the buttons.'

Puls 'Smart Watch' Replaces Your Cell Phone
Even before Dick Tracy, there were Ideas about this.

Small Molecule Walker Takes First Steps
'The bits were in motion.'

US Navy Laser Ready For Use
Fifty years from cartoon to reality.

Fast Lightweight Autonomy Indoor Drones For DARPA
'the Scarab buzzed into the great workroom... and sought the security of a shadowed corner.'

Ninebot One Self-Balancing Wheel
'It had been a long time since the Chief Engineer had ridden one of these silly-looking little vehicles...'

FuturICT Knowledge Accelerator And Psychohistory
'The reactions of human conglomerates to fixed social and economic stimuli...'

Stellar Navigation Based On Network Analysis
'We are a traveling people. We need a travel station here.'

New 'Smart-Skin' Senses Pressure, Humidity, Heat
'You can even sense with your fingertips...'

Mimo Baby Monitor
'In every diaper there is a fine copper wire.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.